At least once a year, set aside a Saturday for garage cleaning with kids.
Actually, you should do it twice a year: when you get out the summer stuff, and again a second time when you get out the winter gear.
Garage cleaning day is the ideal time to ooh and ahh over all your old treasures and reevaluate whether to keep them.
Is the patio umbrella dirty? Clean it. Is the artificial Christmas tree bent? Repair it or toss it. (You rarely need a backup Christmas tree.)
Try to send the little ones away for this occasion. Ages 8 and up will be of help. Anyone younger will be a hindrance.
Have four big plastic bags on hand for the job: one for charity, a second for trash, a third for future garage sale possibilities, and a fourth for recycling.
Do deal with as much of what you bag up today as you possibly can, or you'll leave the bags cluttering the garage for another five months.
Be sure to clean the garage once you've lightened the items there. Sweep it out, get rid of oil stains, brush away cobwebs - you get the picture.
If you have oil stains on the garage floor, here's how to get rid of them: Scrape up any surface accumulation and dispose of safely. You can absorb oil with a noncombustible material such as automatic dishwasher detergent or cat litter.
Sprinkle baking soda over the cleaned area to neutralize the solution that you've used. Never clean with gasoline. And get that leaky car fixed!